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Indirect Impacts: 2022 Toyota Tacoma receives ‘marginal’ rating in passenger-side small overlap test

Toronto, Ontario — The 2022 Toyota Tacoma has joined the likes of the Jeep Wrangler in its struggle with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) recent small overlap crash tests, earning the Japanese pickup truck a rating of “marginal.”

IIHS engineers found that the Tacoma’s passenger door frame and dashboard intruded on the “occupant survival space,” which created a higher risk of injury to a front seat passenger.

As well, injury measurements taken from the crash test dummy indicated a high risk of injury to the occupant’s right leg and a moderate risk of injury to the left leg. The test dummy’s head also struck the grab handle located on the truck’s A-pillar.

This rating of “marginal” actually marks an improvement for Toyota, as the automaker was obliged to make modifications to the Tacoma’s rear leaf springs after the IIHS found them to be capable of puncturing the fuel tank, therefore posing a significant fire risk. This defect earned Tacoma’s built prior to October of 2021 an IIHS safety rating of “poor” in the small overlap test.

The idea behind the IIHS’s small overlap test is to simulate a scenario where a vehicle traveling at 64km/h strikes a stationary object in its front corner. It is meant to test how a vehicle’s less-protected outer edge handles an impact against something like a utility pole.

In the case of the 2022 Tacoma, high impact force was detected in the truck’s front suspension system and firewall, creating a highly dangerous situation for the occupant.

The Tacoma earned “good” ratings in five other tests however: the driver-side small overlap, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

The IIHS posted a video of the 2022 Toyota Tacoma’s passenger-side small overlap crash test to its YouTube channel.

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